Date of Original Version
Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, J.M.Levine and M.A.Hogg (editors). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009.
Abstract or Table of Contents
Teams or work groups are a fundamental part of most organizations in manufacturing, service, and high technology companies and in nonprofit organizations. Teams are how work gets done. Some operate in a face-to-face format while others are geographically distributed. Some occur within an organization while others contain members from multiple organizations, in one or many countries. Self-managing teams (SMTs) share some common features of all groups: group goals, a set of interdependent tasks, and the challenge to coordinate the different tasks and skills to create a group product or service. What distinguishes SMTs is their control over the decision-making process. In traditional groups, managers decide who is in the group, what they do, how and when. In an SMT, many of these decisions are made by the group. This entry examines the ways in which SMTs differ from traditional teams, then examines impact on work outcomes, research directions, and limitations on use.